House Republicans digging in heels on immigration

The Washington Times:

House Republicans, returning from a month of field hearings on illegal immigration, yesterday warned of a gaping disconnect between American voters and many “elite” lawmakers.

“I have never seen such a disconnect between the American people and the elite,” said Rep. Peter T. King, the New York Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee and held two hearings last month.

Mr. King said securing the border this year is a cornerstone to national security and the war on terrorism. He called for more Border Patrol agents, more detention facilities for captured illegals and more unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol the border.

Testimony by Mr. King and others came during a “forum” yesterday before the Republican Policy Committee at which committee chairmen who held field hearings during the August recess could report their findings to Republican leadership.

In other immigration news, the Washington Times yesterday had an editorial calling for the House to reconsider Pence-Hutchison:

Since the spring, the danger for Republicans going into the November elections has always been the appearance of inaction. But we still feel that enforcement-first is a winning strategy with the American people. Polls prove this, even if they also show support for a guest-worker program. If the Republican leadership is indeed committed to getting a bill to the president before November, it should go back to basics and focus on enforcement. That would mean giving the Pence-Hutchison compromise bill (with tougher triggers and greater limits on guest-workers) a second look. We understand the inclusion of a guest-worker program is a major concession, but let’s remember that such a plan would implement a program only after the border is deemed secure.

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